Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'Teen Wolf' Recap: 'Letharia Vulpira'

Courtesy MTV
BY MELISSA HARKNESS

Demonic Ninjas, Dark Foxes, and Deaton...

With all of the dark forces moving through Beacon Hills lately, I know I’ve wondered where our friendly neighborhood Deaton has been. This week, we get an answer.

Do you remember the story Papa Argent told about his first encounter with the Oni and how they killed a Nogitsune right in front of him? Well, Deaton has managed to return to the scene of the crime. It seems that a particularly toxic form of lichen has grown up where the tainted blood of the Nogitsune fell. It’s called Letharia vulpira, aka wolf lichen. He pulls off a bit of trickery to gain access to the garden where it grows. According to Deaton, he can use the lichen to poison the fox hiding inside Stiles. Deaton is going to save Stiles! I’ve always liked that mysterious veterinarian.

While Deaton is out and about collecting moss, the wolf pack and friends are dealing with the whole electrical situation left by Stiles’ Evil Shadow. The live electrical cable falls down to the parking lot of the hospital and as luck would have it a fire hydrant is broken and water begins to spread across the pavement. What did you learn from Schoolhouse Rock kids? That electricity and water do not mix? Exactly. Isaac is a good student, and realizes the danger in time to push Alison to safety. Unfortunately, this leaves him in the water to get just a little toasted. As more onlookers pile into the high charged liquid, Kira flips over an ambulance landing in the water to grab the cable. She then works some of her Kitsune power and absorbs the electricity. Her mother who is looking on is quite dismayed. Scott on the other hand looks like he thinks it’s pretty hot. Kira’s mom wisely drags her away. Oddly, Isaac doesn't appear to be healing well from this experience and at Alison’s urging Scott tries to heal him. He only manages in taking some of Isaac’s pain away though and they leave him to hopefully recover in the hospital. I suppose I should mention that Alison spent the night in the hospital moping over poor Isaac, but I’d really rather not.

All of this tragedy and mayhem doesn't keep them from going to school though. Seriously, these are some dedicated teenagers. Personally, I would have managed to skip school during all of this. Anyway, Lydia spies Peter in the hall, chatting up her mother. You know that can’t be good. And Scott and the twins find Stiles in the basement. He appears to have come to his senses and be himself, at least temporarily. He shows them the Nogitsune’s bag of tricks, detailing some nastiness he has planned up at Lookout Point. This happens to also be where Malia the were-coyote’s dad left all of those traps too. The pack heads off to check it out, only Coach and a bus load of cross country runners have beat them there. To sum it all up, Kira can run really, really fast, and Coach trips a trap resulting in an arrow getting lodged in his chest. Coach, being awesome, screams bloody murder throughout the ordeal. Finally, at Stiles’ urging, Scott uses his healing on Coach to keep him alive until the ambulance arrives. The ambulance finally shows up with Sheriff Stilinski not far behind. As the Stilinski’s reunite, the twins pull Scott aside to show him some more fun stuff in the Nogitsune’s bag of wonders. Looks like he may have been making another birthday present bomb like Barrow was so fond of.

The birthday bomb would appear to be on a school bus back at the high school. A very lucky boy named Jared finds it. He is very lucky indeed, for after a bit of tense investigation, it turns out to not be a bomb at all. The box actually contains the nameplate from the Sheriff’s desk, which would suggest that perhaps the bomb is back at the Sheriff’s station. Guess who else is at the Sheriff’s station? Why, it’s Derek and Papa Argent! They are currently handcuffed to a bench outside the Sheriff's very office. It turns out that our clever little fox set them both up for the murder of Silverfinger, the Yakuza man the Argents met with a few episodes ago. Much to Derek’s disgust, he has been playing along with Mr. Argent while the older man tried to figure out what was going on. It would seem pretty clear now. Derek ends up protecting Papa Argent from the blast at the last minute. Aww, I knew they could be friends! Anyway, as Scott and the Stilinski’s arrive, one of the deputies is dying. Once again Stiles’ asks Scott to help ease his suffering as the man dies.

Back at the high school, Kira is snooping around spying on her parents. Her mother has shown up and they go into her father’s classroom to get something very important. It would appear that Kira’s mom is the source of the Oni. Her husband has been keeping some knives hidden in a book in his classroom for her. They apparently hold the Demonic Nijas we have become so fond of. Oh, and it appears that when she releases an Oni, it sacrifices one of her tails. I suspect bad things happen when she runs out of tails. As darkness falls, fireflies pour from the stump of the Nematon. She tells her worried husband that these Oni are even stronger than the others. Well, this prompts Kira to run off to warn her wannabe boyfriend, Scott.

Kira and Scott grab Stiles and flee to Deaton’s office hoping the mountain ash will slow the Demonic Ninjas down. As Stiles runs inside the Oni finally catch up to them and Scott and the newly kick ass Kira battle them. They do pretty well. Actually, Kira does pretty well, Scott ends up with a ninja sword through his gut. They manage to get inside to the protection of the office. Only as Kira goes to pull the sword out, Stiles knocks her on the head. He is looking a little dark and evil. He then makes hushing noises at his friend and acts as if he is going to pull the sword out himself. Only he twists it in Scott’s gut as soon as he gets a grip on it. He then fills Scott in on a little secret: it’s been the Nogitsune all of this time. He played them in order to get Scott to absorb some of the chaos, strife, and pain he needs to feed. He then puts his fingers on Scott’s face in an evil Vulcan mind meld kind of way, and sucks the pain right out of him. As he’s occupied with this delicious activity, Deaton pops up behind him and injects him with the magic lichen potion. Yay Deaton! He’s poisoned the Nogitsune, but it’s not dead yet.

Now, you may be wondering what the charming Peter was doing talking to Lydia’s mom. He was leaving a calling card so to speak. You see, since he “helped” wake up Lydia’s latent banshee powers, he is kind of offering to help her learn to use them. Lydia grabs Alison and they pay a visit to the former big bad Alpha back in Derek’s loft. Lydia is quite upset at her inability to help find Stiles, and despite knowing better she’s inclined to take Peter up on his offer. Payment is expected of course. He still has his sister Talia’s claws and he wants Lydia to retrieve a memory for him. Talia took this memory from him before she died and he wants it back even though he has no idea what it is. After he and Alison bicker back and forth, Lydia finally gets irritated enough that she accidentally triggers her powers. The claws whisper their secret to her. It would seem that Peter is a daddy, but whose daddy is he? The girl’s seem to think it’s Malia. I've been wondering when we were going to see the little coyote again.

The next episode of "Teen Wolf," "Echo House" airs Monday, February 24 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.

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